Occasionally big organisations make big announcements – then slip out something relatively minor in the details which is a big surprise. Did anyone expect the North of England to be given a tailored version of BBC One?
The northern regions – North West, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East – will get a distinct service.
The speculation is that this will be branded as BBC One North and have an announcer based in Salford. Presumably the current regional identifiers such as BBC One Yorkshire will be retired.
The details have yet to be made public but the thinking is clear.
The move could drive approval for the BBC in the north. Programmes made in Salford and the existing local and regional services – TV, radio and online – could be better promoted.
To be clear, the existing regional news programmes will stay – this is not some “super region” to replace existing services. And no significant increase in opt out programming is expected.
But will “regional” continuity or branding changes make a difference?
Ultimately what matters is what the BBC produces in each nation and region. Is it spending enough? What is the appropriate balance between programmes for that region or nation and programmes made there for network transmission?
When English regional continuity was axed 40 years ago few seemed bothered.
But regardless of the impact of the new BBC One North, one move announced today will be of huge benefit across the English regions. At last all BBC One regions are to broadcast in HD. And not before time for the flagship channel of the public service broadcaster.
PICTURED: BBC One North ident. COPYRIGHT: BBC.